Modise warns Kaizer Chiefs: 'You don't want to drown'

Samir Nurkovic, Kaizer Chiefs, January 2021
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Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Maritzburg United means Gavin Hunt''s Amakhosi have not won in six league matches since beating TTM 3-0 on January 21

Former Bafana Bafana midfielder Teko Modise says it's understandable Kaizer Chiefs went the more direct route in the second half of their 1-1 league draw with Maritzburg United at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Maritzburg were the better side in the first half and were 1-0 up at the interval thanks to Thabiso Kutumela's 15th-minute goal.

Amakhosi coach Gavin Hunt made three changes at the break as Siyabonga Ngezana replaced left-back Philani Zulu while Njabulo Blom came on for Willard Katsande and up front, Samir Nurkovic swapped with Lazarous Kambole.

With the physical presence of Nurkovic available to them, Chiefs were more effective than when attacking midfielder Lebogang Manyama had been playing up front in the opening stanza.

"I think Hunt wasn't happy, especially with how things turned out in the first half. I think he realised the overload on the [Chiefs] left-hand side where [Philani] Zulu was having problems dealing with the [Maritzburg] right-hand side," Modise revealed in his role as a SuperSport TV presenter.

"And so he changed the system in the second half, changed the personnel. And that forced Maritzburg to defend deeper, so there was no more threat, the distance [Thabiso] Kutumela had running into the box was much bigger, so Maritzburg wasn't that threatening at all and therefore Kaizer Chiefs starting gaining momentum," the former Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United playmaker added.

Modise says that he understands Hunt's preference at playing more direct, sometimes less eye-pleasing football, as Amakhosi are currently on six points above Maritzburg, who are languishing in the relegation zone in 15th position. In the end, Manyama’s 88th-minute strike earned the Glamour Boys a vital point.

"It was a game of two halves," Modise said. "Chiefs second half started playing direct football, they became more effective because the balls were more inside the box and they forced Maritzburg to react.

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"But for me to say this is the type of system you need to play, especially when you are not [in a good] position on the log, it would be very unfair.

"All you need now is to get points and you need to survive. It's like when you are swimming, it doesn't matter how you swim, you want to survive, you don't want to drown.

"And I think Kaizer Chiefs and Maritzburg are in that situation where they just want to survive."

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